Archive for the ‘Friends and Miscarriage’ Category

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Slapped

August 18, 2009

Sara and I have been best friend since 8th grade. Though we went to different colleges, and now live in different cities, we remained close talking on the phone every week and visiting at least twice a year.  I don’t have many close friends and I cherished her presence in my life.

Sara is an OBGYN resident. In January 2008 when we began TTC I told her my fears of PCOS. She brushed the idea away and told me to wait a year. She was my best friend and an OB-GYN so I said okay. A few months later I told her I planned to switch doctors because progesterone induced cycles seemed pointless if I had a deeper issue. I didn’t think the doctor knew what she was doing. I wrote about it here but to sum it up Sara got pissed and told me that there’s nothing I can do about what’s happening. I should stick with the doctor and maybe in a year seek diagnosis and if I can’t have kids so be it, its just not in our control what happens to us. I was thrown off by this conversation. In 17 years she’d never snapped at me like this. I told myself she had my best interest at heart and agreed with her. Luckily some IF bloggers e-mailed me vehemently disagreeing with my friend and urging me to switch doctors and try getting diagnosed. Thanks to these bloggers I met different doctors until I found one I trusted and was diagnosed with PCOS.

I felt confused by Sara. I had textbook PCOS and she’s an OBGYN. After the diagnosis I told her I had PCOS. Her response was oh, followed by silence. Then she said she had to go. Okay, fine. She’s my friend, not my doctor, but I felt hurt by her response. No words of sympathy, just awkward silence. I told myself I shouldn’t hold this against her but I found it harder to call her or return her messages.  Four months went by. In the meantime I got pregnant and had my first miscarriage. The day of my miscarriage she had left a message saying it’d been a while. I thought of her and how close we’d been. I called her back. She said she was sorry to hear and I knew she genuinely felt bad for me even though she didn’t know what to say. We changed topics to other things such as what she planned to specialize in once her residency ended and that’s when it happened:

Sara: Sometimes I consider going into RE. Its good hours and lots of money.
Kate: You should definitely do it!
Sara: But then I don’t know because I don’t believe in it. I can’t practice RE in good conscience.
Kate: Why not?
Sara: Because if you can’t have a kid you shouldn’t and I’m sick of people trying to fight nature, living unhealthy lifestyles, and then coming to me to try and get pregnant.

I felt for a few moments like I could not breathe.You have to understand Sara. She has a gentle lilt in her voice and wears pink skirts and has a hello kitty phone. Never could I imagine these words coming from her mouth. She made this comment so nonchalantly I just sat there like an idiot unable to formulate a sentence.

That was in May. She’s called a few times since then and left messages but I have not returned her calls. I know she’s upset that I’m bad at keeping in touch. She has no clue how her words affected me. Jack asked me the other day You and Sara were so close you haven’t called her in the longest. I told him what happened but he said Sara is a good person and I shouldn’t end things with her. Maybe in this one area she sucks as a friend but that doesn’t negate her as a whole being. He said she’s all alone in Chicago and maybe she’s frustrated and took it out on you. Besides she doesn’t understand because she doesn’t have IF issues that she knows of yet.

But if my friend gets hit by a truck I’m not going to say people should be careful where they walk because I don’t know what it feels like to be hit by a truck. I don’t know what to do.Thanks to her I wasted a lot of time TTC in vain but I could get over that since she isn’t my doctor so I can’t blame her for giving me bad advice. But her last comment, I don’t know how to get past that. I really don’t want to let a 17 year old friendship go down the tubes but I don’t even know how to confront her and frankly, I don’t want to confront her. She called and left a message today, annoyed that I hadn’t called her in months. I know the right thing to do is tell her how I feel but I’m under enough pressure as it is with everything that’s happening, the thought of that ugly confrontation wipes me out before I begin.  I wish I knew what to do.

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PMS post miscarriage and dark thoughts

June 11, 2009

I once had a friend. She was my best friend. We did everything together and I trusted her completly. Our husbands were friends. We had standing invitations to one another’s house each weekend. I felt grateful to have them so dear to us. One day out of the blue she stopped speaking to me completely. She made new friends. When I saw her, she would turn her back and ignore me. One day her friends tore up pictures of me in her home and stuck them on the fridge. To this day I have no clue what I did. In the beginning I’d call and beg her to tell me what I did wrong. Our friendship was worth more than a misunderstanding, or if I made a mistake, worth more than ending over a mistake. At least, I asked, tell me what my mistake was. She refused. She as a bubbly vivacious girl attracts friends like honey and bees. I withdrew from all the social circles because it was uncomfortable to be in a corner while all the people crowded around her.  She hurt me so badly. She is pregnant.

She called me three weeks ago after two years of silence and cold glares and left a message saying she wanted to tell me what happened. It did not sound like an apology (which I would have accepted so we could move on) but instead a time to rehash what happened two years earlier. No, I thought. I’m done with the past. I’ve moved on. I wondered why now?

My friend who told me Tricia was pregnant was not prepared for my face to go white. For me to get tears in my eyes. I told her about my miscarriage. Otherwise I’d look really weird wouldn’t I? It was uncomfortable. I wish I hadn’t shared though she is very supportive. I just have a very hard time talking about face to face I guess.

I told Jack. He’s out of town. He said he knew. My friend’s hubby [Chris] is still in touch with Jack I guess. Chris told Jack before Tricia called and left the message My wife has PCOS she finally got pregnant and she wants to call and apologize to Kate. Jack told Chris that it was up to me what I wanted to do. He didn’t tell me any of this because he didn’t want to influence my decision and he knew how emotional I could get.

I’m just thinking to myself: Why. Why two days before my period? As I sit on a heap of negative pregnancy tests when Jack is not here When I’m in a darkened home all by myself, WHY NOW do I have to hear this? This girl was downright mean. In the end she won by having all my friends. Now she wins the battle of fertility too.

That’s silly isn’t it? Were not competing? But she did win. She gets a room full of friends while I sit here alone. She gets to have a baby while I sit and mourn mine.

Why God. Why does it work that way? I’m crying. I’m feeling a mix of emotions. Jealousy. Guilt over my jealousy. Anger at the All Mighty. Self Pity. Grief. Hopelessness. A huge helping of hopelessness. Fucking hell, infertilyt sucks. I hate being powerless. I hate having no control. I hate this SO much.

I talked to Jack about it today and he says I’m darker than usual. He said that the level of emotionality that I’m displaying is like how I was weeks after the miscarriage. I’m wondering if this is because of the fact that I’m due for a period on Saturday (I think- you never know with PCOS). This is PMS times twenty. Is PMS post miscarriage more horrifying for everyone? I’d like to think my emotions are just my hormones getting the better of me. I hope so.

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Snarky Infertile

May 12, 2009

A friend who got pregnant the same week I did provides constant updates  such as OMG in denial that pants don’t fit anymore. or Maternity clothes fit so weird! I feel like tweeting back Wanna trade?

My favorite tweet came today: Jan is amazed with the amazing things her body can do.

Yes, honey, it is amazing. At least in between your angst you get that your body is doing something amazing. Something my body chose not to do.

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Friendship and Trust

May 12, 2009

I have a friend, Alice, who I’ve known for about three years. She is one of about two people I trust in my city. She was one of two friends I told of my pregnancy. When I miscarried it was tough but I “untold” her. Her father had a stroke around the same time I miscarried and she has a young baby so I did not begrudge her when she sent me one quick email of condolence and never really followed up. Today as I walked to my car, the phone rang. Linda? I thought with confusion. Why was she calling? I had just emailed her a few days ago and told her I’d touch base with her in June. I let it slip to voice mail as I unlocked my door and I saw she left a message. The message went as follows: Hi, Im calling because I heard about what happened. I am so sorry to hear. I hope you’re okay. You’re in my thoughts. I know I’m probably not supposed to know, but I couldn’t just not call you.

I felt like someone punched me in the stomach, hard. Only two people knew, and I knew Alice and Linda were close. I called Linda who confirmed that Alice told her. She tried to be ameliorating Well I ran into Jenny a few weeks ago and asked how you were doing (Jenny being the other person who knows) and her response made me think something was wrong. So I followed up with Alice, who kind of hesitated but told me what happened.

I don’t have a lot of friends I can trust and I really trusted Alice. I trusted her completely. She too trusted me and shared with me things that only a handful of people could possibly know. I trusted her in part, because she trusted me so deeply. I get that Linda was concerned and Alice is close to Linda, and I get that things slip out. I do get that, but I told her how much I didn’t want anyone to know…  how does that translate to telling someone else?

Linda’s husband and my  husband are close, and Jack did not want me to tell Linda because obviously her husband would know and he didn’t want it to be awkward and I respected his request. He is furious that Alice told and wants me to confront her and tell her she is a horrible person. I don’t think Alice did this out of malice, she just did it because it was a conversation point with her close friend. Obviously, I will never ever trust Alice again, and the friendship I had will now be reduced to a mere acquaintance.  I am not sure how to handle the situation though. I feel she needs to know how I feel about this, but at the same time I do not have it in me to yell or scream. That’s not me, and it would do no good.

*** Updated to add: I emailed Alice and expressed to her my disappointment. She wrote back and apologized and explained to me what happened. Apparently when Linda asked Jenny how I was doing, Jenny said that I was going through a very difficult time right now and that Linda should probably call me. Well, okay then. I understand why Alice told her though I wish she hadn’t. I just need to be damn sure to keep shit to myself from now on.
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Hopefully my last HCG

May 7, 2009

I called my doctor to do my lab work to check my HCG levels. This is a very large practice but the lady who scheduled me remembered me. How are you doing sweetie? She asked. I’m doing better, I responded. Good, I’m glad to hear, I’ve been thinking of you, you’ve had a really rough couple of weeks, you’ve been through a whole lot. I can’t describe how such kindness helps soothe my soul. I really have been through a lot, not just these past few weeks but since January 2008. Not too many of the people I’ve told have checked in on me to see how I’m doing. It’s okay, maybe they think I’m over it or something, but I must say that people who do ask how I’m doing and that they’re thinking of me, really helps. I didn’t think it would but it really does. I hope my HCG levels are zero tomorrow so I can begin the process of awaiting my period. Today was a good day, not a single tear drop. One day at a time.

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You Gotta See The Baby! Seinfeld

May 2, 2009

I am seeing two new babies this week. One is a daughter of a friend who didn’t even really want to get pregnant and complained throughout. The other is a “friend” who constantly points out we’ve been married seven years and have yet to conceive. Seeing these “friends” holding their bundle and the smug things they will say to me makes my head hurt to think about.

Our babies would have been six  months apart. They would have been friends.  We would have arranged play dates and complained about the terrible twos. Birthday parties. Trick or Treating. These were all things my baby should have shared with them. Now I will hold these children, I will watch them grow up and I will remember what should have been. The absent third child remembered only by the ache of my heart.

I will smile tomorrow. I will ooh and awe. I will ask about sleeping schedules. But if in the car later that afternoon, if you see me cry- please don’t judge me.

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Friends and Miscarriage

April 27, 2009

A friend stopped by my office to give me a hug. She had told me she was pregnant several weeks back and unable to contain my joy, I shared too. She was on the bcc list to whom I broke my news of miscarriage. She stopped by to say hi. She gave me a hug and told me she prayed for me. Then she proceeded to talk about law school graduation and how much her exams are bothering her and how her graduation dinner planning is driving her bonkers. Then with a hug, she was out. She didn’t do anything wrong. She said the right things and its good to not join me in my plummet to the bottom of the earth, but, I don’t know why, I felt angry. Emotions, its me, Kate. I’d like for you to make some fucking sense to me again because I’m sick of this. I’m not that person. I’m not forever bitter and unhappy with the world. What has this miscarriage done to me?

Some friends treat me like I’ve developed the plague and if they venture too close they might catch this mysterious miscarriage thingie. One went so far as to say she was scared to come over and see me. I guess the problem is that because I did not lose a child recognized by any legal institution, and because in their minds it happened for a fucking good reason or some other bullshit, they don’t feel my pain. They just don’t understand. I can’t say I would behave differently. I cannot know for sure.

Instead of This happened for a reason say, I’m sorry to hear.

Instead of It’ll get better, say, I’ve been thinking of you.

Instead of You can always get pregnant again, say Is there anything I can do for you?

Pretty much, as a rule of thumb, consider what you would say to someone who God Forbid lost a living breathing child of five years of age. You would not tell them the child got hit by a truck for a reason. You would not tell a grieving parent It will get better. You would not tell a mother as she lays her child to rest You can always get pregnant again.

BUT this is different- you might argue. This was not a child, just a fetus. Yes- but grief is grief and grief is raw and real and the emotions I feel while I will never claim to be as intense as my example above, are still real and painful and powerful, so please… just please.